Mine Union Cites Discrimination in Objection to Peabody’s Push to Give Bankruptcy Bonuses to 42 Office Employees

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Christopher Coats for SNL:The United Mine Workers of America launched a challenge to a Peabody Energy Corp. effort that would free up millions in funds for retention payments to 42 “key employees,” calling the effort “inappropriate and unfair.”The objection challenges the company’s request to set aside at least $2.74 million for payments with the approval to increase that amount to $3.24 million with minimal notice.In early June, Peabody stated that the 42 employees provide “vital services” necessary for day-to-day operations and noted that in exit interviews employees have been saying they were seeking higher levels of job security than the coal industry currently offers. The employees include those working in finance, operations, legal, sales, marketing, human resources and information technology.The UMWA questioned the plan, asserting that the company’s “uncertain financial prospects” made such a request unreasonable.Further, the UMWA challenged the selected employees, arguing that the plan is “discriminatory” and should not include company “officers” as they are Peabody insiders.Full article: UMWA challenges Peabody retention plan, calling effort ‘inappropriate and unfair’ Mine Union Cites Discrimination in Objection to Peabody’s Push to Give Bankruptcy Bonuses to 42 Office Employeeslast_img read more

Vietnam installed 4GW of utility-scale solar in the past 12 months

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享PV Magazine:As developers scrambled to meet the end of June deadline to tap a generous feed-in tariff scheme, Vietnam saw unprecedented activity in its utility scale solar market, with multi gigawatts of PV capacity connected to the grid.While Australia and Vietnam have been progressively expanding over 12 months, the latest tally showed the Southeast Asian country had overtaken Australia for operating utility scale solar PV capacity, according to Norwegian consultancy Rystad Energy.Building on the previous year’s record volume of new large-scale PV capacity, Australia continued to expand its portfolio of commissioned projects. According to Rystad’s data, the nation’s operating capacity rose from less than 600 MW to 2.7 GW over 12 months. However, that performance was put in the shade as the Vietnamese market skyrocketed on the back of June installation figures, from less than 10 MW of operational generation capacity in June 2018 to more than 4 GW – a 400-fold increase.More than 60% of that capacity was commissioned last month, Rystad found. The average time for construction and commissioning in Vietnam was an astonishing 275 days.“Few would have predicted Vietnamese utility PV to exceed Australia’s by mid-year,” said David Dixon, senior analyst on Rystad Energy’s renewables team. “The commissioned capacity in Vietnam has exceeded our high case.”Rystad’s prediction was that 40 solar projects with a total generation capacity of 2 GW were due to come online in Vietnam this year, itself a big leap from just two large scale projects – the 49 MW Krong Pa and 35 MW Duc Hue PV farms – commissioned last year. However, according to Vietnamese state-owned utility EVN’s latest data, as many as 82 plants with a combined capacity of 4.46 GW were connected to the national grid by the end of June.More: Vietnam overtakes Australia for commissioned utility scale solar following June FIT rush Vietnam installed 4GW of utility-scale solar in the past 12 monthslast_img read more

EIA: Coal generation fell to 19.2% of U.S. electricity market in January

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Platts:Total U.S. power generation during January was at 339.32 TWh, up 0.6% from the prior month but 5.1% lower than the year-ago month. It was also down 5.1% from the five-year average and was the lowest total generation for the corresponding month since 328.66 TWh in January 2006.Coal made up just 19.2% of the power generation in January, while natural gas generation was at 39.2%, compared with 21.5% of U.S. generation from coal and 38.4% from gas in December. In the year-ago month, coal’s power generation share was at 28.2%, while gas was at 33.3%.Natural gas generation in January was at 132.98 TWh, up 2.8% from a month earlier and 11.8% higher than the year-ago month. It was the highest power generation from gas in the month of January in over 47 years.Nuclear generation was at 74.2 TWh in January, up 1.5% from December and 0.7% higher than the year-ago month. Nuclear made up 21.9% of the generation share in January, up from 21.7% in December and 21.2% in January 2019.Generation from renewables, including hydro and solar, was at 63.46 TWh in January, up 7.2% from December and 5.6% from the year-ago month. Renewable’s power generation share was at 18.7%, up from 17.5% in December and 16.8% a year ago.Wind generation was at 28.4 TWh in January, up 4.5% month on month and 12.9% higher than a year ago. Utility solar generation was at 4.56 TWh, up 30.4% from a month earlier and up 24.7% from the year-ago month.[Tyler Godwin]More: January U.S. coal-fired generation falls 10.2% on month, 35.5% on year: EIA EIA: Coal generation fell to 19.2% of U.S. electricity market in Januarylast_img read more

Draft EU rules would prevent gas-fired power plants from being labeled as ‘sustainable’

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Reuters:Power plants fueled by natural gas will not be classed as a sustainable investment in Europe, unless they meet an emissions limit that none currently comply with, according to draft European Union regulations seen by Reuters.The landmark EU rules, due to be finalised this year, will force providers of financial products to disclose from the end of 2021 which investments meet climate criteria, and can therefore be marketed as “sustainable”.The aim is to steer billions of euros in much-needed private funding into low-carbon projects to help the EU hit ambitious climate goals, and limit so-called greenwashing by stopping the labelling of investments that do not meet the criteria as “green”.The draft rules say that to be classed as a sustainable investment – one that makes a “substantial” contribution to curbing climate change – gas power plants must not produce more than 100 grams of CO2 equivalent per kilowatt hour.Even Europe’s most efficient gas plants produce more than three times this limit, according to estimates by industry and independent climate think tank Ember.The rules would not ban companies from investing in projects that don’t meet the EU’s “sustainable” criteria, but industry groups have warned that excluding gas plants could mean they will struggle to raise finance – even for investments to reduce emissions. The EU rules use a tighter emissions limit than the 250g of CO2 per kwh threshold used by the European Investment Bank to screen investments. The EIB will stop financing unabated fossil fuel projects by end-2021.[Kate Abnett and Simon Jessop]More: EU set to deny gas power plants a green investment label: draft Draft EU rules would prevent gas-fired power plants from being labeled as ‘sustainable’last_img read more

SUP the TUCK: Day 4

first_imgJune 26, 2018, day 4/7 A Cherokee Legend: After traversing the wide Yosemite-like origins of the East Fork it is easy to understand the physics of flooding; a broad granite escarpment as far as the eye can see acting like a stone plate funnelling rain water to a river as wide as a two-lane country road. This  river has had its share of tragedies. On December 30, 1882 the ‘most awful’ public works of the state occurred. Nineteen convicts, part of a chain gang, drowned while crossing the river. They were buried in a mass grave with no marker to honor the site, though it is believed to be near the Cowee Tunnel. Even today the tunnel’s ceiling continues to drip, some say it’s the tears of the convicts. In 1840 there was a record high ‘May Fresh’ flood which occurred as settlers were beginning to arrive. In 1940 “the great deluge” occurred. Houses, barns, animals and people were swept away including every bridge that crossed the river. Towns and families were left isolated, leaving some to send messages across the river with bows and arrows. The dams were built soon after providing a level of protection to downstream communities as well as electricity and controlled releases for boaters and fisherman. Still on the East Fork of the Tuckasegee we were now below the last dam-controlled section. Finally, I told John, we will be paddling on a  conventional river trip rather than traversing bone-crunching drops, portages and man-made lakes. We stuffed wet gear into waterproof bags and secured it on our paddleboards. The next  2 miles were class 1-2 whitewater down to the little town of Tuckasegee where the West Fork joins. The Tuckasegee River now flows unrestricted 60 miles to the Little Tennessee River at Lake Fontana. Have you ever slept below a dam? My first experience was below the Fontana Dam. All night there was a pulsing green glow and hum, a UFO-like reminder that I was not at home in my bed. John Sherman and I awoke below the Cedar Cliff Lake to the eerie sound of a  dam spewing water out of a concrete hole and a huge generator spinning electricity. John emerged out of his green hammock-tent like a molting stonefly. Blank and expressionless he muttered  “I hate being wet”. We awoke to mud, mist and river. The crack of lightning and the tsunami rain from the portage last night jarred and drenched our spirits into a sleepless night. We started a fire. John noticed a leak in his paddleboard and his attempt to repair it was unsuccessful. I  called my wife Jana who kindly drove from Asheville to pick up John and his useless paddleboard.  While home, he noticed his left ring finger was turning blue from his injury hiking Bonas Defeat. He went to the emergency room and had his ring cut off saving his finger. While all this drama played out I paddled downstream a few miles into Cullowhee, near the Western Carolina University and camped on a sandbar in the middle of the river. My “solo” night included a bonfire on the beach, late night swim and fresh trout for breakfast. Click here to read Day 3 Moving much quicker now we made good time to East Laporte River Park in Cullowhee and stopped to dry out our gear. Wet sleeping bags, clothes and food were laid it out in the sun to dry. I took John through the experience of gutting and filleting his first trout with a ceremonial flare.  The  tasty fish was washed down with a local IPA from the gas station across the street. Part 2: The Tailwaters The last three days were brutal, orienteering with paddleboards down one of the most dramatic river basins in the world. The hidden grandeur of the Tuckasegee River is the headwaters of the East Fork. We paid a price. Sore and fatigued, wet and discouraged by rain, John now with a swollen finger;  I was beginning to question the wisdom of our trip. We are both “solo adventurers”, self-proclaimed tough guys that prefer going it alone. We quietly ate our breakfast, John prefering to cook non-Mountain House freeze dried breakfast on his own cook stove. I looked irritably back and forth between Johns fluorescent tent hanging 3 feet off the mud and my brown tarp  slung over my paddleboard sitting directly in it. Uktena was a serpent as large around as a tree trunk, with antlers on its head, a blazing crest on its forehead and scales glowing like fire living in the river. Whoever is seen by Uktena is so dazed by the bright light he runs toward the snake instead of trying to escape. There is a location 2 miles above Deep Creek near Bryson City where Uktena struggled and left deep scratches while trying to move upriver. The Cherokee and other Native Americans have a long history with the Tuckasegee river. The name Tuckasegee has various origins…..a popular consensus is an anglicization of the word Tsiksitsi meaning “crawling terrapin” due to the rivers sluggish waters. Evidence of fishing weirs (V-shaped rock funnels) are still evident. The first one encountered was just before the Shook Cove public access area. The water is shallow and slid over pebbles and sand sluicing us downstream into the apex of the weir. Our Badfish paddleboards are designed for fishing allowing for heavy  gear and fishing poles to be secured and still navigate  rapids. We pulled into an eddy to photograph and fish. Soon the sun broke out, drying us and reviving our spirits. Stay tuned all this week to read about the rest of their river journey!last_img read more

Outdoor Updates: High Bacterial Levels in French Broad River

first_imgThe Asheville City Council’s Planning and Economic Development Committee had planned to meet with a staff member at the Department of Environmental Quality in October, but the meeting was canceled. The meeting has been rescheduled for December. Celebration of life scheduled for November 16 for Nantahala Outdoor Center co-founder E.Coli levels in the French Broad River and surrounding lakes and streams peaked this summer at over 47 times EPA recommended levels. Of 28 testing sites on and near the French Broad River, 26 have shown unsafe levels of bacteria this year. The alarming levels of E.Coli have prompted city officials to meet with state regulators to discuss what role, if any, the city plays in the issue. The high levels of E.Coli come at a time when recreation on the French Broad River is exploding. When people come into contact with contaminated water it can cause infection, gastrointestinal illness and even neurological issues. Campers warned to look out for flooding in the Outer Banks Asheville city officials will meet with state regulators to discuss high bacterial levels in French Broad River The flooding is caused by changes to the beach resulting from recent storms. These storms have created a “humpback” beach profile with a high berm crest. If a wave gets over the berm crest the water gets trapped and is unable to get back to the ocean and the trapped water then tries to escape through the dunes. National seashore officials warn that there is not much beach to camp on this week as the water at high tide goes all the way back to the base of the dunes and, in some cases, through the dunes. Aurelia Kennedy, co-founder of the Nantahala Outdoor Center (NOC), died September 14 at the age of 84 after struggling with health issues for a number of years. Kennedy founded the NOC in 1972 with her husband, Payson Kennedy, and friend Horace Holden. She first canoed the river in 1954 as a counselor and canoeing instructor. Throughout the years, Kennedy helped turn the NOC into the largest whitewater outfitter in the United States. The celebration of life is open to the public and will take place at 2 p.m. on November 16 at the grounds of Relia’s Garden at the Nantahala Outdoor Center. Kennedy’s daughter told the Citizen Times that the celebration of life will be a happy event—her mother requested a party. Cape Lookout National Seashore is warning campers to keep an eye out for areas of high water, especially when pitching a tent. In a Facebook post, the national seashore warned that beaches and low tide areas near the sounds may flood during high tides and asked the public to use caution when driving or camping on the beach. Campers are advised to make sure they set up camp above the high tide line and to check for indications of flooding before setting up camp.last_img read more

Brazilian Gangs

first_img Paraguay is increasingly becoming an outpost for Brazilian drug trafficking organizations looking to avoid arrests and conduct their business more easily, according to Paraguayan Police. Primeiro Comando da Capital (Capital Command), Comando Vermelho (Red Command), and a faction of the so-called Amigos dos Amigos (Friends of Friends), are some of the criminal organizations that authorities in that country have identified. This shift in operations is due to criminals seeking to eliminate intermediaries in an effort to own the market and keep more of the drug profits for themselves. The Brazilian gangs deal mainly with cocaine that comes south from Bolivia and Peru. Source: InSightCrime.org By Dialogo January 01, 2012last_img read more

Military Leaders from the Americas Discuss Common Issues

first_imgBy Dialogo February 06, 2013 Military leaders from Central America visited U.S. Army North on January 30 as part of the Central American Regional Leaders’ Conference, hosted by U.S. Army South, in a cooperative effort to establish closer ties between militaries and to improve coordination on common issues. International students from the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation (WHINSEC), U.S. Army Maneuver Center of Excellence, based in Fort Benning, Georgia, visited Army North to learn about the mission and structure of the U.S. Northern Command’s Joint Force Land Component Command. “The WHINSEC visit allowed us to highlight Army North’s role in defending the homeland in depth through security cooperation with our neighboring countries – Canada and Mexico,” said Major Albert Marckwardt, Mexico branch officer at Army North. “For the students, equivalent to the U.S. Army ranks of major and lieutenant colonel, it was also an opportunity to understand how we support civilian authorities at the tactical and operational level.” WHINSEC students from Panama, Colombia, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Honduras, Costa Rica, Paraguay, Canada, Belize and Mexico learned about Army North’s unique missions and discussed regional efforts with hemispheric partner nations to combat transnational criminal organizations. Military leaders from Nicaragua, Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, and Panama’s director of its National Border Service toured Army North’s historic Quadrangle, attended command briefings and heard from Oscar Salinas Jr., assistant chief of U.S. Customs and Border Patrol, who touted the success Army North has had working with the Mexican land and air forces, known as SEDENA. “The Border Patrol’s new strategic plan focuses on integration with federal, state, local and foreign partnerships,” said Salinas. “The collaboration between Army North and SEDENA is one example of this integration.” While WHINSEC students have visited Army North in years past, the visit of Army commanders from Central America on this opportunity was unique. “This is probably the first time we’ve worked this closely with Army South and with Central American army commanders, and this greater dialogue is a healthy thing,” said Lt. Gen. William Caldwell IV, commanding general, Army North (Fifth Army), and senior commander, Fort Sam Houston and Camp Bullis. “We’ve been building our interactions over the years – and we want it to continue,” he added. Major General Perry Wiggins, deputy commanding general of operations at Army North, discussed the importance of building relationships and fostering communication in combating transnational criminal organizations. “They’re going to move to the path of least resistance,” said Wiggins. “A solution without Central America, South America, Canada and Mexico gives them a gap. Our adversary we’re dealing with is very smart. [If we] protect the land and water, [then] they use ultralights and tunnels.” Progress has been made, but there is more to be done, and Army North needs to foster relationships with other nations like it has done with Mexico, said Wiggins. “We are getting back into a cooperative state,” he said. “I can tell you the synergy we have created with SEDENA has blossomed into something where relationships have carried the day.”last_img read more

República Dominicana: DNCD desarticula organización narcotraficante

first_imgBy Dialogo March 25, 2013 SANTO DOMINGO, República Dominicana – El mayor general Rolando Rosado Mateo (hablando en la foto), presidente de la Dirección Nacional de Control de Drogas (DNCD), informó que las autoridades antinarcóticos desmantelaron una red de narcotráfico e incautaron 680 kg de cocaína en un avión privado en el aeropuerto de Punta Cana, el 20 de marzo. (Cortesía DNCD). SANTO DOMINGO, República Dominicana – Las autoridades antinarcóticos dominicanas encontraron 680 kg de cocaína escondidos dentro de 26 piezas de equipaje en un avión Falcon 50 que despegaría del aeropuerto de Punta Cana con destino a Puerto Rico, el 20 de marzo. (Cortesía DNCD). SANTO DOMINGO, República Dominicana – Las autoridades antinarcóticos dominicanas encontraron 680 kg de cocaína escondidos dentro de 26 piezas de equipaje en un avión Falcon 50 en el aeropuerto de Punta Cana, el 20 de marzo. Unas 35 personas fueron arrestadas en vinculación con la incautación. (Cortesía DNCD) SANTO DOMINGO, República Dominicana – Los 35 sospechosos arrestados el 20 de marzo tras la incautación de 680 kg de cocaína ocultos en un avión en el aeropuerto de Punta Cana presuntamente trabajaban para una importante red de contrabando que traficaba droga desde América del Sur a Francia, Bélgica, Holanda y otros países europeos. (Cortesía DNCD)last_img read more

Positive Assessment of the Armed Forces’ Activities during the 2016 Rio Olympics

first_imgBy Social Communication Office, Brazilian Ministry of Defense September 28, 2016 On September 19th, Brazilian Minister of Defense, Raul Jungmann, gave a positive assessment of the Armed Forces’ activities during the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games. “We’ve made it to the end of a cycle of major events that began in 2007, all of which have gone off without a hitch. Brazil and Rio de Janeiro demonstrated their vocation and ability to successfully host major events,” Jungmann stated. During a press conference at the headquarters of the Military Command of the East, the minister highlighted the 13 Olympic medals won by military athletes and the adjustments and improvements made to the Armed Forces’ training centers, which received foreign delegations. “Right here in this room, a few months ago, we made a promise that we would have calm and peaceful Olympic Games. Today, I’m happy to announce that we contributed, along with other agencies, to the Games’ success. The whole world has acknowledged us,” Jungmann said. During 58 days of defense-related activities, 23,000 personnel from the Navy, Army, and Air Force were employed to secure the Rio 2016 Games in the state capital. In the five cities that hosted soccer matches 43,000 men and women worked on the Games. This nationwide effort involved the monitoring, surveillance, and protection of 139 strategic structures. In Rio alone, the Armed Forces ensured the protection of 73 strategic structures. In Rio de Janeiro, there were 12,300 patrols, including maritime, foot, mounted, motorized, and armored vehicles. All told, 26 ships, 3,083 cars, 109 armored vehicles, 51 helicopters, 81 vessels, 80 aircraft, and 370 motorcyles were used. Minister Jungmann pointed out that the Joint Command to Prevent and Combat Terrorism did not ignore a single suspect. “We didn’t overlook a single thing,” he said. In Rio de Janeiro, 49 reports were made, though none represented a single attempt or threat of a terrorist attack. In terms of aerospace defense, the Air Force completed 35 interception missions, eight interrogations, and four missions involving route changes. The Cybernetic Defense Command did not record any relevant incidents during the Games. According to the command, 2,747 information assets and 805 sites were monitored. Even before the Games began, the Army had completed several operations to inspect explosives and related items. Most of the incidents involved inconsistently transporting and documenting the products. Forty-six tons of explosives, 20.5 tons of ammonium nitrate, 21,500 fuses, and 147,000 meters of det cord were seized. According to the minister, the Games’ legacy also includes greater integration among public safety agencies and the Armed Forces, ensuring greater interoperability, new training, and other enhancements. In his explanation, Jungmann announced an athletic integration program for service members with disabilities, named “João do Pulo.” Regarding the request from the acting Governor of Rio de Janeiro, Francisco Dornelles, that the Armed Forces continue working a while longer on security measures in the city, Minister Jungmann said that Brazilian President Michel Temer was expected to consider the request in the next few days. “We are able to contribute our intelligence, training, logistics, and equipment. However, the Armed Forces cannot replace the role of public safety,” Jungmann added. At the end of the presentation of results, Jungmann spoke about the Armed Forces’ next mission, when they will be employed during the 2016 municipal elections on October 2nd and 30th. “Duly authorized by the President of Brazil, the Armed Forces are going to ensure fair voting and tallying in seven states, with military troops in 107 cities,” the minister said.last_img read more